One of the things about a world that has become more free and open since the days of the Cold War is that news from behind the “iron curtain” comes out quite regularly. If you’ve heard of – or seen- Microsoft’s Kinect in action and thought it to be uber cool (which it is), get ready to go to the next level.
Form Russia with love, comes Displair Air Touch system, a technology that projects images into thin air. What’s more, you can move those images using gestures. The company that has developed this amazing technology is called Displair. It has won several awards for its technology, including the Tech Innovations Award and commendation by Russia’s President Medvedev.
While it looks as if the images are projected onto thin air, the secret is that they are projected on a stream of cold fog. While the Kinect-Xbox combination has only a 0.1 second time-lag between gesture and computer response, Displair’s time-lag is 0.2 seconds. But it can detect finer gestures than Kinect has been known to. But Microsoft is working on refining the technology and it’s possible that newer versions of Kinect can detect finer hand movements.
The system is still in pilot production, which means that prices are not indicative of what they might be once large-scale commercial production begins. Estimates range from $4000 to $30000- presumably, depending on screen size.
Maxim Kamanin, the founder and CEO of Displair is already looking at how this technology can be commercially utilised. Several potential areas of application come to mind. A medical group in Russia plans to use it to deliver psychotherapy. As I write this, I’m imagining a haunted house at a theme park that uses this technology.